Fans of the post-apocalyptic horror show The Walking Dead sure got a shock in the latest episode, although it may not have been the kind to which they have grown accustomed.
The latest episode of The Walking Dead, entitled “Live Bait” is all Governor, all the time. It tells the tale of what exactly happened to The Walking Dead’s enigmatic black hat between his show down with Rick and Co. and showing back up on their doorstep at the end of the fifth episode of Season Four of The Walking Dead.
After slaughtering a group of his own Woodbury folks, the Governor loses himself. We see him sitting by the campfire, staring into the emptiness inside, with a “biter” walking toward him. He doesn’t even flinch. The Governor would have been dead meat if not for his trusted lieutenant, Martinez. In the morning, he finds himself abandoned by his compatriots.
So the Gov hops in a truck and heads back to Woodbury, finding it littered with the dead, walking around like they own the place. Looking disgusted, he abandons his former fortress. We then see him begin his journey by walking the first of many steps on the road back to humanity, wandering aimlessly through the countryside. We hear one side of a conversation from The Walking Dead’s Big Bad of season three.
“I’ve been on the road for a couple of months,” The Governor says, explaining that he had lived in a town. “It was safe, full of good people,” he explains, but the leader, “he just lost it.”
“Barely got out alive.”
It’s a healthy bit of introspection from a character that had never shown the tiniest bit of self-admonition in any of his previous Walking Dead appearances. Mind you, the Governor isn’t looking so hot these days, haggard and half dead when he stumbles upon an apartment building with a food truck outside and a little girl in the window. He heads inside, flashlight in hand, and we meet the fine folks with whom he must have been conversing, two sisters, grandfather and a little girl.
This most recent Walking Dead episode intrigues because it puts a human face back on the Governor, a character previously so driven and Machiavellian, completely without remorse. It took a new family and the innocence of a little girl to bring the former despot back from the dead and get him walking on the side of angels.
What will this new Governor have in store for Rick and the rest of the survivors—and Walking Dead fans—when The Walking Dead’s seventh episode, “Dead Weight,” airs next week?